Kathmandu: Nepal experienced a nominal increase in earnings from coffee exports during the last fiscal year, contrasting with a substantial rise in import expenses.
The surge in export revenue can be attributed to a modest uptick in production volume, while a significant surge in domestic demand led to a notable increase in import costs.
Records from the National Tea and Coffee Development Board (NTCDB) reveal that Nepal exported coffee worth Rs 130.441 million in the fiscal year 2022/23, up from Rs 117.085 million in the previous year.
In contrast, import expenses witnessed a multifold increase, soaring from Rs 127.590 million to Rs 325.866 million during the same period.
The NTCDB highlights that Nepali coffee commands a price two to three times higher than imported varieties.
However, the burgeoning demand, particularly among the youth due to the growing coffee culture, coupled with a gradual increase in production, has led to a widening gap between export and import figures.
Nepal has expanded its coffee plantations to cover 3,655 hectares of land, marking an increase from 3,343 hectares in the preceding year.
The production of green bean coffee has also seen an upswing, reaching 394.40 tons from 354.90 tons.
Despite the surge in exports, Nepal imported approximately 20 percent of its total coffee yield in the last fiscal year. The quality and aroma of Nepali coffee have allowed it to fetch a premium price of around US $16 per kg in the international market.
In a bid to regulate the market, the NTCDB has revised the price of Nepali coffee, effective from Friday.
As per the updated rates, fresh cherry coffee now costs a maximum of Rs 100 per kg, parchment coffee is priced at up to Rs 500 per kg, and dry cherry is listed at a maximum of Rs 200 per kg.
The move is expected to further stabilize the coffee market in Nepal.